5 Reasons You Should Be Very Excited About Blade Runner 2049
In making Blade Runner 2049, director Denis Villeneuve had a budget of $185 million, more than his eight previous movies combined. For that reason alone, fans should be excited by the possibilities, particularly if the acclaimed director of Prisoners, Sicario, and Arrival has managed to retain creative control.
However, that’s not the only good reason to be excited about this long overdue sequel. In a recent conversation with /Film, Villeneuve revealed several important (but spoiler-free) details about his latest film, making clear his high opinion of the original and his determination to get the sequel right. Based on his comments, here are five great reasons to be excited about Blade Runner 2049.
1. Villeneuve is obsessed with the original
With any sequel, there’s a fear that the studio will hire a director with insufficient regard for the original. That’s definitely not the case this time. “Blade Runner is one of my favorite movies,” Villeneuve explained. “I said to myself, ‘They will do it. No matter what we think, the studio will move forward and will make it.’ I don’t know if I’ll succeed, but I know I will give it all my love and all my skills. I will work so hard. I didn’t want it to fall into the hands of someone that wouldn’t.”
2. The film’s cast is ‘very strong’
We’ve all seen movies that have been cast with more concern for celebrity than suitability. In his focus on the latter, Villeneuve went the extra mile. “I’m a very different film director from Ridley Scott, but it’s a thing that both of us have in common: we always aim for excellence with the actors in our casting,” he said. “There’s no compromise. One thing I’m sure of is that the performances in our movie are very strong. Very strong. I had the chance to do a massive casting around the world where I got to choose from among the best young actors.”
3. Femininity plays a vital role
More than most science fiction movies, Blade Runner created a well-rounded world with many important female characters. According to Villeneuve, the sequel will be no different. “One thing I love in the screenplay, there’s a lot of strong female parts,” he explained. “Femininity is very important in the second movie, just like it was in the first movie. So I had the pleasure to meet actors that sometimes are well known in their own countries, but less known in North America… like Sylvia Hoeks, Ana de Armas, and Carla Juri. Mackenzie Davis is in there, too, from Canada. Those young actresses are strong artists, and they brought a lot to the movie.”
4. CGI is being used sparingly
We’re all used to seeing movies with wall-to-wall computer imagery, causing them to look more like video games than reality. That will not be the case in Blade Runner 2049. “I’m not a big CG fan,” Villeneuve revealed. “It’s a powerful tool, but it cannot just be that. We did our best to always try to use models and real vehicles, to shoot real landscapes and have actual life in front of the camera.”
5. Keeping the spirit alive
More than just a story that needs to be continued, Blade Runner is a film with an extremely specific style, philosophy, and atmosphere, all of which Villeneuve carefully brought back to life for the sequel. “There was a melancholia in the first movie, a nostalgic feeling of loneliness and existential doubt, a kind of inner paranoia about yourself that I wanted to keep alive in the second movie. I wanted to keep the film noir aesthetic alive, as well. That was very important. And a certain kind of pacing, too, which I deeply love in the first movie… Ridley told me that it touched him because I was able to extend that atmospheric quality that the first movie had.”